Phoenix Suns Trade for Domantas Sabonis: Dumping the Front Court
If the Pacers indeed throw in the towel on this season and begin building strictly toward the future, a budding star like Cameron Johnson helps them do just that. He carries all the skills required to start at the NBA level, currently averaging 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per 36 minutes.
This deal does force the Suns into a tough goodbye with Johnson as a fan favorite and key standout from last year. But still, trading him for a star makes sense for the team when you look at the long run.
With Phoenix still needing to deal with Ayton’s extension and other contracts from Bridges and Paul set to kick in soon, extending Johnson past his rookie deal is no guarantee this summer. So rather than potentially letting him walk, the Suns bring over a star here, and create more space to sign Ayton even while taking on Sabonis’s contract.
The Suns also cut ties with Jalen Smith and Dario Saric. Charania’s report this morning also briefly noted Phoenix’s intentions to move Smith. Being a former lottery pick and just 21-years-old, he also makes sense for the Pacers.
Even with his torn ACL, Saric looks fit to wear Indiana threads as well. At 27-years-old, he still remains on the younger side. Once healing up for next year, he can give the Pacers a player to build around and lead others at the same time with his extensive regular season and playoff experience.
But most importantly for the Suns, they hold onto Crowder with this deal. He remains an integral component within their defense and as a floor spacer. Even if the Suns traded for Sabonis, Crowder likely plays significant minutes off the bench. With this trade, they maintain that option.